Zombie Run Recap

I was a zombie…and I ran.  Quickest recap ever! You’re welcome.

Haha.  You didn’t actually think I would do that to you did you?  Of course not.  Brevity has never been my strong suit.  Just ask my parents.   Or my husband.  Or my friends…

From the minute I learned that Zombie Run, LLC, was coming to Mississippi, I knew I wanted in on the fun.  So when I was offered a bib in exchange for my opinion, I jumped on it! Free race?? OK!

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Zombie Run, the basic premise is that it pits zombies against runners in an epic apocalypse type event.  Runners try to ‘survive’ and zombies try to ‘kill’ the runners – think flag football style.  Runners also have to conquer obstacles throughout the 5k run which ups the survivability anty.  It’s all in good fun though and proceeds go to benefit the Smile Train.  Registrants have the option to choose whether they want to me a zombie (makeup provided) or a runner so it’s really a friendly event for all fitness levels.  My decision took about 2.5 seconds….ZOMBIE!! (Please, I’m a runner every other race.)

bib

Saturday morning I woke up and headed to the Harrison County Fairgrounds to meet some of my favorite Gulf Coast bloggers Larisa, Mindy, Holly, and Melanie to have a bloody good time playing zombies and chasing runners.  We all got to the event about 1.5 hours early to get zombiefied.  I went the whole Walking Dead route with my costume and tried to get some natural color realistic clothing. I found a drab dress at the Salvation Army for $3 – score! Larisa and Melanie did a whole Risky Business style.

Pre zombiefication

Larisa, me (and my $3 dress) and Melanie.

After picking up our packets and trying to figure out where to go we finally headed over to  the makeup area.  A super cute make-up artist named Megan did my makeup; I told her to just have fun.

makeup

Megan and Larisa

in progress

Wondering what I got myself into….

Ze final product.{I think I look more like I've been in a car wreck then a zombie}

Ze final product.
{I think I look more like I’ve been in a car wreck then a zombie}

What was really strange was that there were no mirrors which mean none of us could see what we really looked like.  That may have been a good thing.  After makeup we made sure to snap some pictures.

Zombie horde 1

Then a ‘zombie wrangler’ led us out to our part of the course.  It was really funny being in complete zombie makeup and walking past the runners.  I snarled at a few and gave others some pretty ‘hungry’ looks.

The zombie wrangler dropped us off at our area (we were at the end of the course) and explained what we were supposed to do.   As runners came into our area, they had a chance to earn flags (flags = life) back by running into our zombie horde and finding a nerf arrow.  They then had to climb this monstrosity and shoot a zombie.  For each zombie they hit, they got an extra flag.

This was part of the obstacle.  Runners had to climb up it and then shoot us.

This was part of the obstacle. Runners had to climb up it and then shoot us.

Quality control. I haaaaaaaaaaad to test it, right?

Quality control. I haaaaaaaaaaad to test it, right?

Since we were close to the end, we had a lot of time to kill (HA!) before the runners came.  So what did we do? Well, there was a little zombie yoga and also some Harlem Shaking, zombie style, going on.  Way too much fun!

What?? Zombies do yoga, too.

What?? Zombies do yoga, too.

Ready to rock-n-roll.  Bring on the brains!

Ready to rock-n-roll. Bring on the brains!
PS – We formally adopted ‘PJ Guy’ into our group. He was hilarious!

About 10:20 we started to get the first wave of fresh meat runners.  I was positioned between the arrow/shooting obstacle and some large palates they had to hurdle over.  Melanie and I teamed up to try to get the flags before they jumped the palates.  While my costume was very zombie authentic, wearing a dress and sandals wasn’t necessarily ideal for chasing runners.  I gave it my best shot and did snag a few flags.

Runners

Runners

I really had a great time egging on the runners and I surprised quite a few with my speed and agility in a dress.  There were a lot of ‘oh crap, she’s fast!’ Teach them to underestimate me. Pfft.  I also got a lot of ‘you’re too cute to be a zombie,’ ‘you’re the cutest zombie ever,’ ‘you have the best hair,’ and even ‘are you single?’  Apparently, I’m a lot cuter with zombie makeup on than I am in real life – lol!! If you ever want a confidence boost, be a zombie.

I had a blast chasing everyone but after about 2 hours of being in the direct sun (ZERO shade) we all started to wonder where our replacement shift was.  A lot of the other zombies had already left but there were still runners coming so I felt obligated to stay.  What fun is a zombie run without any zombies? This is one part of the race that definitely needs a bit of revamping for next year.   Another 15-20 minutes went by without any replacements and I was starting to get somewhat dizzy. Low blood sugar,& no food since breakfast 4 hours earlier led me and the rest of our group to walk back to the finisher’s area.  As we were walking back, we passed our replacements.  2 1/2 hours of running and lunging in the hot sun is way too long.  We grabbed our finisher’s medal and t-shirts.

-Finisher-This was supposed to be my mean face.  I look pitiful, not mean...

-Finisher-
This was supposed to be my mean face. I look pitiful, not mean…

Once we made it back to the finisher’s area, we ran into Heather who had come to run it.  Previously, we had all decided to run the race after we were done being zombies but the other girls were tired and had a half marathon in the morning so they headed home.

eating heather

Did someone say lunch?

They had great bands playing all day. I think a couple even got married - zombie style.

They had great bands playing all day. I think a couple even got married – zombie style.

I stayed to “run” it with Heather.  And I’m so glad I did.  We had a blast tackling obstacles together! It was all about teamwork and fun.  For a full recap on the run portion, check out Heather’s post.

Heather and I

Mid run photo op

I have to admit that after all the running and lunging earlier, I didn’t do much running during the 5k.  I was still in my zombie makeup and outfit and figured out pretty quickly that if you scream “You can’t touch me, it’s cannibalism” it confused the other zombies and they left my flags alone.  And yes, in case you’re wondering, I did do the run and obstacles in my dress.  I have no shame….Sorry, Mom.

obstacle

Heather and I finished and got our “Survivor” medal (I had previously gotten the “Infected” medal for being a zombie) and then we headed to the finisher’s fest to rehydrate.  Unfortunately all they had was beer.  It was pretty strange not to have any water or Gatorade or anything.

medals

Ok, so you weren’t supposed to get both medals. BUT I was one of the last waves of runners and they had tons of survivor medals left. Sorry…not sorry.

Overall, I adored this run! There were a few snafus (being on the course too long, lack of free drinks & food at the finisher’s fest) but I would sign up again in a flash. If you’re thinking of doing this run – go for it! If you’re a runner, I recommend that you get in the earliest wave possible since the zombies are fresh and ready for action.  We (the zombies) weren’t quite as active during the later waves.  And finally, if you’re going to do this run, talk everyone you know into going with you.  The more you have in your group, the more fun you’re going to have! Oh, and wear sunscreen.

My lovely new sunburn pattern...

My lovely new sunburn pattern…

Question:  Have you ever done a zombie run?

Disclaimer – I was given a free entry to this run in exchange for my opinion.

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Viking 1/2 Marathon Recap

Crossfit, crossfit, crossfit. I haven’t been in this much continuous pain in a long time and I am loving it! Last night we worked on deadlifts and push presses.  I have really bad form with a lot of different things we’ve done but I’m totally cool with that.  It just means I have room to improve and makes me want to try harder.

Alright, now that I have procrastinated enough on putting up my latest race recap.  Here it is for your viewing pleasure…. Last Saturday Karla, one of my running friends, and I ran the Viking ½ Marathon.  I went through a few different emotions with this race.  I was on the fence about it when I registered, then I became really apathetic about it and could have cared less to run it, and finally got excited about it the week of the race.  Sheesh, all those emotions for one darn race!

viking

Friday, Karla and I made the roughly 5 hour drive to Greenwood, Mississippi, for packet pickup.  Greenwood is in the part of Mississippi that’s known as the Delta.  It has incredibly flat lands which was one of the big selling features of the race.  Another selling feature {for me} at least was the fact that the race was offering a free make your own trail mix bar for the runners.  Unfortunately, when we got to the ‘expo’ (it was actually just a packet pickup location), there wasn’t even a stray piece of granola signifying the bar even existed.  I’m assuming that they ran out of stuff. *sigh* I was disappointed.  Anyways, we grabbed our bibs, shirts and some information about the town and headed to our hotel.

Really disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

Disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

I just have to take a minute to brag on the hotel we stayed at, the Hampton Inn.  Their staff was out of this world friendly and the hotel actually opened up the continental breakfast an hour early just for the runners.  In all the races I’ve traveled to, that’s never happened.  After getting a recommendation from the hotel clerk we headed to eat at a place called Websters.

How cute is this place?

How cute is this place?

It was SUPER cute and once again, the staff was incredibly friendly.  Southern hospitality at it’s finest, I tell ya.  Not to mention it was absolutely delish!  I ordered a grilled chicken gyro with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and feta complete with a plain baked potato and fried dill pickles.  Don’t judge.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

6:30 Saturday morning my alarm went off; it was super nice getting to sleep so late.  I grabbed my clothes that I prepped the night before and went in search of food.  Usually I eat my own food but I knew that I could get my hands on freshly made waffle from the hotel.  It didn’t disappoint.

Waffle

Side note – I ate terrible those two days… But it was good!

Karla & I

Karla and I got to the race, snapped a few pictures and looked for a the portopotties.  I didn’t find any. Fabulous, I love starting a race having to go pee. Whatever, time to line up. Since this was such a small race there were no corrals, just go where ever you wanted.  I had a good laugh at the guy on the loudspeaker because he was giving instructions for the fast people  to be in front (duh), average in the middle, and “if you ain’t ever ran a ½ marathon and don’t know your pace, just go ahead and get in the back.” Well ok.

starting line

The National Athem was sung and before I knew it, we were off.  The downtown roads of Greenwood are really pretty brick pavers which is great if you’re not running on them.  The unevenness of the pavers coupled with the fact that they were wet from the rain kept me guessing how long it would be until I tripped (which thankfully never happened). Did I mention it rained/sprinkled the entire time we were there?

Anyways, I had previously decided not to race this and just enjoy the run which is exactly what I did.  I was bummed that there weren’t a lot of course spectators but the ones that were there were great.  The other thing I was bummed about was that the course had so many turns I couldn’t really enjoy the scenery.  Seriously, we made a turn on average every .25 miles. I joked to someone that I felt like Alice in Wonderland; I kept waiting for the Cheshire Cat to make an appearance.

Mile 3 I stopped for a potty break, mile 6 I rocked out to some AC/DC, mile 7 I did a little dance knowing I was over ½ way done.  I was having fun just letting my body run it’s happy pace (somewhere around 9:30ish).  Mile Everything was going great until mile 11.25 where I got a shooting pain under my left knee cap.  It felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife and I almost crumpled to the ground.  But as quick as it came, it was gone.  Very bizarre.  That same shooting pain would happen two more times before the finish. It didn’t slow me down, just scared me a bit.  At one point towards the end of the race we were actually sharing a lane with traffic; there was less than a foot between myself and very large vehicles.  That was TERRIBLE planning and incredibly dangerous.

Finally, mile 13 came and I knew I was in the home stretch.  I entered the finisher’s chute and heard someone scream my name.  At first I thought there was another Gina (I’m in a strange town, far from home) but I looked any way and saw my friend Karla! 🙂 I was completely confused but found out later she was having foot pain and decided not to push herself through to the finish.  (She’s a smart cookie.)

Medal

I dig the medal.

We headed over to the finisher’s fest,  grabbed some water and pizza and then listened to the band for a little bit before heading back to the hotel.  My final time was 2:05:31; not too bad for just having fun.

WatchOnly the finish was chip timed (not the start) so I’m going with my Garmin on this one.  Overall, I enjoyed the race.  Although, I’m not sure if I’ll make the drive back up here again next year or not.  The hospitality was amazing but the race itself wasn’t.

Question:  Have you ever felt unsafe during a race?

The Color Run Recap

Did y’all have a great weekend? I was so sad to see it end.  Any weekend that’s filled with extra days off, food, family & friends, and running is alright in my opinion!  Friday I went to the gym (which was  ghost town thanks to everyone shopping) and got in 4 miles of Yassos at a 7:45 pace, 5 miles cycling to work the kinks out of my legs after the Yassos, and then I hit the upper body weight machines.  My arms and legs were spongy like jello.

Saturday, I met my running girls and we knocked out 10 miles.  Our training plan called for 9 but we have a 1/2 marathon in two weeks and I wanted to get at least one double digit run in.  Adding an extra mile may not have been the best idea.  I was having some knee pain pretty early into the run and then by the time we finished the 10 miles my foot was on fire.  For the remainder of the day I had a shooting pain in my foot any time I put pressure on it.  I’m hoping it’s not a precursor of things to come.

Ignore my jacked up toes…Have any of you had pain where I’m pointing?

Last weekend I had the pleasure of running The Color Run in New Orleans.  I registered for this ‘run’ (there really wasn’t much running going on) back in February and had been anxiously patiently biding my time for it to happen.  And happen, it did!  With this being such a fun run, I really wanted to embrace the spirit so I tutu’d it up with along with some funky glasses and one fishnet glove; my inner 80s diva had arrived.

To make it even better, Larissa from Zero to Twenty Six Point Two contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in running for Swiftwick socks.  Um, that decision took all of 3.5 seconds to make.  I have a pair of Swiftwick Vibe Ones that I use for running so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their Performance 12s (compression socks) and tech shirt.  I loved the compression socks and the shirt was seriously buttery soft.  The Swiftwick gear was the perfect compliment to my outrageous outfit.

I ❤ tutus…..and Swiftwick….and paint!!

Before the run we (my two running girls and I) met up with Larissa to get some pictures for Swiftwick.  Mindy from Road Runner Girl was there; it’s so nice meeting other bloggers IRL!

Swiftwick girls. HOLLA!!!

After the pictures, we went ahead and got in line for the run to start.  In order to avoid congestion in the paint areas, they let the runners go in different waves.  I was in the 3rd wave and it took about 20 minutes before we crossed the starting line.

My running girls {before}

My favorite picture!
I have no idea who this guy is but he was awesome!

Only in NOLA would this not seem strange.

Waiting to start. Soooooo many people!

Finally, we were off to Oompa Loompa town! I had fully intended on running this event but it was so congested that I was only able to run it for a little bit before slowing to a jog and then finally to a walk.  But it was totally fine.  It was so much fun seeing people of all ages, shapes and sizes coming together to get their paint on!  One of the reasons I love events like this is because it’s a catalyst for many people to start their fitness journey.

There were 4 different color stations: orange, blue, yellow, pink and then one big finisher paint party at the end.  There was even a couple that got married on stage before the run and then went through The Color Run in their wedding attire.  So cute!

My color progression.

BLUE! My favorite color!!

After making our way through the 3.1 miles of color explosions, we crossed the finish line and followed the sound of LMFAO to the finisher’s party and joined the shindig.

After!!!

cheeeeeeeze

My fantastic package of biodegradable paint.
Is it just me or do I have a slight hint of smurf showing through?

Totally awesome finisher’s paint fest! I have a video on Youtube if you want to see it live.

I think my Swiftwick socks look even better with a bit of color, don’t you?

Question:  Have you ever done a fun run like this? I’ve heard of Ugly Sweater runs, Underwear Dashes, and Glow Runs. They all sound fun to me!

Kickin’ it for CASA 5k

Last Friday night I ran the Kickin’ it for CASA 5k.  I guess because I work for a non-profit, I’m a sucker for almost any race benefiting a non-profit.  CASA (court appointed special advocates) is a national organization comprised of volunteers who advocate in the court system for abused and neglected children.  I mean, how can you not love an organization like that??  It’s like not liking the Humane Society – you just can’t do it!  Or I can’t.  I’m a sucker for those precious furry faces (the animal’s furry faces, not the kids – geez).

The race started at 6pm in Bay St. Louis at the sport’s complex.  It. Was. HOT! Temps in the 90s + insane humidity.

Encouraging words from the local meteorologist…NOT!

I met two of my favorite running girls there.  We had decided earlier in the week not to race this 5k but run it for fun since we had a 9 miler the next morning.  We picked up our bibs/t-shirts and lined up at the start.

The course was nice, winding its way through a really pretty neighborhood and the volunteers were awesome. I got lots of high fives, thumbs-up’s and words of encouragement.  Loved it! (Side note: Nothing is worse at a race then passing volunteers who obviously don’t want to be there.)

At mile 1 my Garmin beeped letting me know I finished the first 1/3 of the race.  I looked and saw 8:24.  Shoot.  That was WAY too fast; I knew I couldn’t sustain that pace in the heat and I wanted to save some of my energy for the morning.  About ½ way through the race I was really starting to feel all of the 90+ degrees and backed off.  I made it to the turn around, grabbed some water (I have never been SO happy to have a cold drink) and started on the last half.   I managed to keep a decent pace and finish {somewhat} strong.

My feet were so hot I felt like they were about to spontaneously combust at any moment.

This certainly wasn’t the fastest 5k I’ve ran but it wasn’t the slowest either.  Could I have pushed harder? Definitely.  Was I glad I didn’t? Absolutely.  I finished at 29:24 which equates to 9:14 pace (the course was about a .10 mile long) and even though I set out to run it just for fun I ended up placing 2nd in my age division – yay!

My sweaty 2nd place smile.

After we finished the 5k, the girls and I hung around for a bit.  We listened to the band, watched some kickball (Kickin’ it for CASA…get it??) and waited for the awards.  Sorry about the duplicate guitar picture from Monday’s post but I just looooove it so much!

Yep, I matched the singer’s fan-freaking-tastic guitar!
What can I say? I gravate towards bright things…

The awards were well worth the wait because Stacey and Lorena placed in their age divisions, too! So proud of those girls.  The race director did a fantastic job putting everything together and I can’t wait to do it again next year!  I did put in a request for cooler weather next year; we’ll see if she can make that happen – lol!

Each one of the plaques we received for placing was hand painted by a child CASA helped.
How cool is that!?!

Question:  What’s your favorite charity to run for and why?

Barely a 4k Beer Run

This weekend I ran my first 4k.  Nope, I didn’t hit the wrong number on the keyboard.  You read it right, a 4k; and a fun one at that!  When I heard about Yazoo’s Barely a 4k Beer Run I was instantly intrigued.

Swag! T-shirt and beer glass from the run.

I didn’t find out about the run until Thursday but after a few e-mails to my favorite running buddies we were all signed up.  I’ve noticed that it doesn’t take much arm twisting when beer is involved…..plus I have the best running friends ever!

Hooray for awesome running buddies! (Even made some new ones.)

The run was in Bay St. Louis at a place called Sloppy Dogs (perfect for a beer run, right?!) and started about 8:45.  It was super informal; no bibs, no timing clock, just a bunch of runners (and some non-runners) getting together over a common interest.  Any guess what that common interest is??

Totally inappropriate but, oh, so funny!

Before I knew it the race director (and I use that term loosely, he was much more laid back) started shouting out directions about which roads to turn on.  We lined up haphazardly and then were off.  I shouted good morning to a family that was out for a walk and they asked if we were running a race.  I briefly entertained the idea of telling them we were running from zombies but managed to scream we were running for beer instead.  They laughed and joked about joining.  Fast forward a bit… A mere 18 minutes and 4 seconds later, the run was over.

As promised, there were plenty of frosty brews at the finish and lots of happy runners!  Now I have to admit, while I may talk a good talk, I don’t actually care for beer.  *Gasp*  I know, that’s almost un-American.  I did at least take a few sips and, as far as beer goes, it was pretty tasty.

Nice. and. frosty.

I had the so much fun at this 4k and it’s seriously up there on my list of favorite races.  It was awesome getting together with other runners outside of the competitive race atmosphere and I loved that it was the type of run that people from all fitness levels could feel comfortable completing.  Today starts my first day of training for the Marine Corps Marathon – yay!

Question: What’s your favorite fun event and why was it so awesome?